Save up to $90! Great Deals on Norton 360 antivirus starting at just A$79.99 Get comprehensive protection with Norton 360 including Antivirus, secure VPN, a Password Manager, PC Cloud Backup, and more. All backed by 60-day Money Back Guarantee and 100% Virus Protection Promise.
Oppo Neo 5 review: $219 buys a whole lot of phone
The cheapest 4G smartphone in Australia reviewed
- Better than expected camera
- Low resolution screen
- 4GB of internal storage
- Outdated OS
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
Hype surrounded Kogan’s Agora 4G in August. Kogan touted it was the cheapest smartphone with 4G Internet money could buy in Australia.
One month later and the Agora 4G was knocked clean off its mantle by Australian newcomer Oppo. The Chinese smartphone company soft launched in early September by selling a variety of smartphones on its website.
Good Gear Guide reviewed the Oppo Find 7 immediately following the launch. Now we’ve gone hard to the other end of the spectrum with the Oppo Neo 5, which at $219, remains the cheapest 4G smartphone in Australia.
Who makes the better “cheapest 4G smartphone”?
Every now and then we cross paths with a budget smartphone built well enough to replace the flagships from Apple and Samsung. Motorola’s Moto G and Nokia’s Lumia 635 comes to mind first. The Oppo Neo 5 doesn’t make this list.
Whereas those smartphone feel like great value, the constraints of the Neo 5’s low price tag grossly stand out. Glittered plastic accounts for most of its body and the screen does little to elevate the experience. Its 4.5in screen just isn’t sharp enough with a 480x854 resolution and a low 218 pixels-per-inch.
Poor screens can either make or break a deal. Kogan’s Agora 4G, which sells for $229, uses a high definition BenQ panel and has a density of 293 pixels-per-inch. The Agora 4G’s display makes it worthwhile to spend an extra $10.
Internal hardware tells a similar story. The Neo 5, like the Agora 4G, has a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, but it has less internal storage at 4GB. Lovers of music looking for an mp3 counterpart will have to fork out money for a microSD card.
The same goes for people interested in taking photos and recording videos. The Neo 5’s rear camera, although held back by some bleeding and image noise, is a noteworthy inclusion for such an inexpensive smartphone. (It easily outperforms Kogan’s Agora 4G and HTC’s $312 Desire 610.) The camera is a credible reason that could sway people to give the little Oppo.
The Neo 5 runs the superseded Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, although it’s dressed in Oppo’s Color OS overlay. The software is well styled, feature rich and easy to use, but the comprehensive software will likely suffer from a lack of updates.
Overnight Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop, and that’s the kind of update that would make your old phone feel new. Odds are the Neo 5 won’t be the beneficiary of such an update, while Motorola’s Moto G could on account of being near-stock.
Cheaper smartphones than the Neo 5 are available, but none of them are compatible with 4G Internet speeds. Armed with a Telstra SIM and from the comfort of our North Sydney offices, the Neo 5 reached download speeds of 8.68Mbps and upload speeds of 9.52Mbps.
Working in the Neo 5’s favour is its battery life. During our testing it lasted a full 24 hours before needing a charge, and that was without enabling the battery saving mode.
The Neo 5 is replete with features in spite of costing a low $219. The camera is a solid performer, it has commendable battery life and fast 4G Internet.
People not interested in taking photos and still want to spend bottom dollar should consider Kogan’s Agora 4G. The screen has a higher resolution and using its near stock version of Android elevates the experience.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 ASUS TUF FX505 (Ryzen 7) review: Tolerable trade-offs
- 2 Oppo A5Xs review: Cutting corners
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Telstra throw in a $10 credit on 24-month plans for select smartphones
- How much does the Oppo Find X2 Pro cost in Australia?
- Motorola shore up wallet-friendly portfolio with G8, G8 Power Light and E6S
- HMD are pitching the Nokia 5.3 as budget-friendly and 'Android 11-ready'
- Vodafone pitch 25GB for $35/month
PCW Evaluation Team
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
- Huawei P40 Pro review: Breaking Point
- Dell XPS 13 (2020) review: A deft upgrade that doesn't break what doesn't need fixing
- How Australia's Telcos and ISPs are reacting to increased coronavirus connectivity demands
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies